Training Groups

SSCD Group Descriptions and Requirements:

Coaches have sole discretion on group and lane placement.

South Snohomish County Dolphins’ training levels have been created for your swimmer to excel at the pace they need to achieve their potential.  We emphasize individual and team progress with competition at the highest individual level.  


Age Group swimmers will be placed in groups that challenge but don’t discourage them as they learn to set realistic goals, and then work through a training plan to reach those goals! Ensuring proper mechanics are achieved early in a swimming career, both in dryland exercises and in the water, promotes optimal neuromuscular conditioning and patterning for a lifetime of correct swimming.  


Our group structure is aimed at providing the best opportunities for all our athletes to grow and improve, as well as allow them to practice in groups with peers that are of the same relative age, maturity, and ability levels. We believe that as swimmers progress through the program, the motivation to move to the next group will make ALL the groups stronger. As this occurs, swimmers in every group will be pushed to new heights.


Placement in a practice group is not guaranteed for an entire season. If a swimmer is failing to fulfill their obligation to the group, they may be reassigned to a different training group. Conversely, if a swimmer is exceeding expectations, and their coach feels they need more challenges, advancement to the next group will occur after a coach/parent meeting has taken place.  




M - F   45 minutes    recommend 3x week 

Intro to a “USA Swimming” team for swimmers 6 - 12 years old.

Swimmer should be able to swim 25 yards each freestyle, backstroke, and have knowledge of breaststroke & butterfly.

Attendance at home meets expected / attending all meets qualified for strongly encouraged.


Focus:  To have a positive experience learning about USA Swimming!   Proper “level appropriate” stroke mechanics towards legal strokes in the four competitive strokes, starts, and turns, lap lane etiquette, swim coach “lingo”, team drills, basic pace clock reading skills, learning and introducing our new swimmers to swim meets and having fun and making friends!!!



1 hour    Minimum 3x week - welcome to train 5x a week.

8-13 years old.

Be able to complete 10 x 50 freestyle on a 1:15 interval.

Be able to complete a legal 100 IM.

Attend home meets and all other meets qualified for.

Focus: Continued stroke & turn perfection, the beginnings of “learning to train” swim sets,  learning the rewards of working hard,  basic strategies for goals, racing and becoming part of a team while still having fun!




Mon - Fri 1.5 hours    Minimum 4x week - welcome to train 6x per week

9-13 years old.

Complete 10 x 100 @ 1:50 and a legal 200 IM.

Swimmer must have achieved a majority of PNS Silver/Gold time standards and have coach recommendation*.

Attend ALL home meets and champ meets qualified for / attending all other meets qualified for strongly encouraged. 

Focus: Silver swimmers have reached the stage where swimming is clearly becoming more of a priority for them.  Silver group is the bridge from novice swimming towards more endurance and more commitment to the water.  Stroke refinement and swimming athleticism with continued attention to correct timing in strokes, turns and starts becomes more finely tuned.   Swimmers begin to understand how a team atmosphere can help them not only become a better individual swimmer, but how they can become a supportive teammate.    




Mon - Sat.    2 hrs / day       Minimum 5x a week.  At the Regional level -  6x per week is expected, (unless arrangements have been made with your coach)


Be able to complete 20 x 100 @ 1:30 and a 400 IM.

Swimmer must have a majority Gold / PNS Champs time standards and have coach recommendation*

Attend ALL meets qualified for.

Focus:  Gold swimmers are looking towards becoming top age group swimmers in the Pacific NW and the Region.   More advanced training techniques, endurance and stroke strategies are taught as this athlete excels through the program.  Preparing athletes to compete at high levels with competent racing strategies are studied and encouraged .   Swimmers start to find out what they are capable of as an age group swimmer and what it takes to get ready to be a quality High School and Senior swimmer.



High School Training Group

M-Th, Sat    1.25 hours

For swimmers 14 & over who want to stay in shape for HS teams or summer teams but need time for other activities, or are not ready for Senior Team training.   

Complete 8 x 100 @ 2:00. 

Swim Meets encouraged.



Senior Group

Mon- Sat.   2.25 hrs / day 

13 & over,  can swim 20 x 100 Free @ 1:15, 5 x 200 IM @ 2:50, 20 x 50 Kick @ :50 

Coach Recommendation*      80% attendance  /  Attend all meets prescribed by Head Coach.

Senior Team members are learning to shift focus and take responsibility for their own training as they become young adults and are competing at the highest level possible.  With this comes the ability to actively make time management a priority and learn how to master / modulate the highs and lows of training at a more elite level.  These swimmers learn the importance of enthusiastic commitment to reach Regional/Sectional finalist levels and National qualifying levels.    



High Performance Group

Mon- Sat (+designate Sundays)   3 hrs / day

90% Attendance  / Attend all meets prescribed by Head Coach

Coach recommendation*

For swimmers invited by the Head Coach to train towards National and International goals.



* Coach recommendation is from your current coach of record.  Your coach will look for signs of leadership, age appropriate swimming/training skills, sportsmanship, commitment, and respect  towards fellow teammates and coaches.